On June 30, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California appointed Steve B. Chu as a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge. Judge Chu is based in San Diego and will serve for a renewable term of eight years. He is the first Asian American to serve as a magistrate judge in this district.
The Judicial Conference of the United States determines the number and location of magistrate judges. By law, Judge Chu had to meet certain criteria to become eligible for the position, including being a member in good standing of a state or territory’s highest court bar for at least five years. He also was vetted by a merit selection panel consisting of lawyers and non-lawyers from the San Diego community. Finally, Judge Chu was selected by a vote of the U.S. District Judges of the Southern District of California. The San Diego FBA has a free presentation available on How to Apply to be a U.S. Magistrate Judge, which includes more information about the position and the application process.
Following his graduation from UC Hastings (now known as the University of California College of Law, San Francisco) in 2002, Judge Chu. began his legal career in private practice. Judge Chu joining the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2006. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Judge Chu represented the U.S. government in medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death lawsuits.
The San Diego FBA welcomes Judge Chu to the Southern District’s bench.